Brands Hatch prank man faces jail

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Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A labourer faces jail after pleading guilty to driving a Volkswagen Polo at high-speed on to the Brands Hatch circuit during a race.

Jack Cottle, 22, hit speeds of up to 100mph with two passengers on board after gatecrashing an endurance race at the famous track in Kent on June 14.

Maidstone Crown Court heard he performed the stunt after being dared by friends in a “foolish prank”, putting the lives of racers in danger.

Cottle, dressed in a navy suit, pleaded guilty to “causing a nuisance to the public by driving on to the race track at Brands Hatch whilst an endurance race was in progress”.

Prosecutor Keith Yardy told the court: ” Shortly before 4pm on June 14 this year, the race had been going for some three hours when the defendant drove a Volkswagen Polo into the pit lane with two passengers.

“He then entered the race track during the race, clearly putting the race drivers at risk and endangering their safety.

“As a result of his actions, the race was brought to a stop. He was interviewed. He said he was dared to do it and was sorry but would do it again.”

Judge Martin Joy warned Cottle, of Durgates in Wadhurst, East Sussex, that a “custodial sentence is on the cards” when he next appears in court on the week beginning November 17.

Defence counsel Ailsa Williamson said Cottle was “an immature man” but had the support of his family who attended court with him.

She said: “He was dared by friends. This was a foolish prank that should never have gone this far and he deeply regrets his actions.”

Adjourning the case for a pre-sentence report before freeing Cottle on conditional bail, Judge Joy again warned him that a custodial sentence would be considered.

The judge said: “Motor racing is an inherently dangerous sport and quite plainly it was a matter that put persons at risk for their lives. You must understand that the court will be considering a custodial sentence.”

Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

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